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Soccer on TV: The jam-packed MLS playoff race will see more big games this week

Plus games to watch in the German Cup, English League Cup, Serie A, and NWSL.

The Seattle Sounders' Cristian Roldan celebrates after scoring a goal against the Colorado Rapids last Wednesday.
The Seattle Sounders' Cristian Roldan celebrates after scoring a goal against the Colorado Rapids last Wednesday.Read moreJack Dempsey / AP

Babelsberg vs. RB Leipzig

Tuesday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

After a jam-packed first few months of the European club soccer calendar, things finally ease up some this week. But not all the way, because some leagues will play games and some countries will have domestic cup games. In Germany, there’s second-round action in the DFB Pokal, the German Cup. ESPN will stream three games on Tuesday and three on Wednesday, and this is one of the most intriguing.

Babelsberg is a fourth-division team from Potsdam, a Berlin suburb. Its stadium, the Karl-Liebknecht-Stadion, is more famous as the home of women’s team Turbine Potsdam, a two-time UEFA Champions League winner. Leipzig’s Jesse Marsch and Tyler Adams will step on to a field that Alyssa Naeher, Nadine Angerer, Ada Hegerberg, Yuki Nagasato and Ariane Hingst once called home.

And Adams won’t be the first American midfielder to visit this season. Julian Green played against Babelsberg with Greuther Fürth, and was on the wrong of a 5-4 upset loss on penalty kicks in the first round after a 2-2 tie. Green scored the last goal of regulation and the first goal of the shootout.

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's German Cup schedule

AC Milan vs. Torino

Tuesday, 1:45 p.m. (Paramount+)

Serie A plays a full midweek round this week, highlighted by Milan’s effort to keep chase with Napoli atop the standings. The two clubs are tied on 25 points through nine games, with Napoli holding the edge thanks to goal difference.

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's Serie A schedule

Queens Park Rangers vs. Sunderland

Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)

England’s League Cup often doesn’t get a lot of attention, understandably so since many big teams don’t take it seriously. But when two underdogs get on runs, that deserves a spotlight.

QPR and Sunderland are both former Premier League clubs, the former now in England’s second tier and the latter in the third. One of them will win this round-of-16 matchup and reach the quarterfinals. We might see an American on the field in Sunderland’s Lynden Gooch.

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's League Cup schedule

Los Angeles FC vs. Seattle Sounders

Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)

Seattle’s drive to clinch the Western Conference regular season title hit a speed bump at home on Saturday in a 2-1 home loss to Sporting Kansas City. Now the gap atop the Western Conference is down to three points, with Kansas City and Colorado tied in second.

LAFC is in ninth, three points out of the last playoff spot. Its quest to scramble above the line has been buoyed by a four-game unbeaten run.

» READ MORE: MLS playoffs schedule to feature Thanksgiving Day game on Fox

Real Madrid vs. Osasuna

Wednesday, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

Real got the job done Sunday at Barcelona, with a 2-1 win that featured a tremendous goal by centerback David Alaba. Now Los Merengues are just one point back of first-place Real Sociedad. Osasuna usually isn’t one of Spain’s better teams, but is in sixth place right now thanks to an easy schedule so far.

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's La Liga schedule

D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls

Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

The latest edition of MLS’ most-played rivalry game carries big stakes in the playoff race. D.C. tumbled down to ninth on Saturday with a 6-0 loss at New York City FC, the worst defeat in the history of one of MLS’ original teams. The Red Bulls, meanwhile, climbed to sixth with a 2-1 win at Columbus that extended their unbeaten run to eight games.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)

We go back to the Western Conference to see how Sporting can answer whatever Seattle does on Tuesday – and whether Javier Hernández and the Galaxy, now in fifth place, can hang on to a playoff spot.

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's MLS schedule

Racing Louisville vs. Gotham FC

Thursday, 6:30 p.m. (Paramount+)

After a 1-1 tie at Kansas City on Friday, Gotham plays the last of its two games in hand on the rest of the NWSL. It’s also the first game of a back-to-back series with Louisville that will end with the regular season finale at Red Bull Arena on Sunday.

» READ MORE: Carli Lloyd reflects on the cost of greatness as her career ends

Monterrey vs. Club América

Thursday, 9 p.m. (FS1, TUDN)

Two of Mexico’s heavyweights collide in the Concacaf Champions League final. Monterrey earned the right to host by racking up better results in the tournament’s previous rounds, based on wins, draws and goal difference. There should be an electric atmosphere at 51,000-seat BBVA Stadium as Los Rayados try to win their fifth continental crown in 10 years, and América aims for its third since 2015.

» READ MORE: Club América manager Santiago Solari has ties to South Jersey